You can't change, what you can't measure
When we aim to build more sustainably and calculate the climate impact of buildings, an aggregation of data and digitalisation are indispensable in smoothing and fast tracking the green transition. For, if you can’t measure it, you can’t change it.
Therefore, we have initiated a project on digital tools and digitalisation of the life cycle assessments of buildings (LCA). The project’s purpose is to harmonise the way we calculate the carbon footprint of buildings across the Nordics.
By using digital tools such as BIM software and integrating them with common Nordic definitions of life cycle assessments of buildings, we can ease the burden of documentation and strengthen the decision basis for calculations of climate impact of buildings. At the same time, our understanding of what our building mass contains will improve significantly, and it becomes easier to estimate whether we meet climate goals.
The enabler of life cycle assessments of buildings
To achieve these important steps in reducing the carbon footprint of buildings, the project sets out to develop guidance for life cycle assessments of buildings performed with the help of BIM software, while taking the Nordic harmonisation of LCA into account.
“We need to mainstream and streamline LCA of buildings. Therefore, digital tools are much needed”, Maria Tiainen, senior specialist at the Finnish Ministry of Environment, states and continues:
“Now, we are developing BIM models and tutorials for how to calculate carbon footprint from these models, as BIMs serve as an enabler of building LCAs”.
The data project was procured as a tender by the Finnish Ministry of Environment, who is responsible for the work on Nordic Harmonisation of LCA under the Nordic Sustainable Construction programme.
Read about the tender here
Guidance and learning material on the way
The project was won by the BIM4LCA consortium consisting of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd (coordinator), Granlund Ltd, Gravicon Ltd and Insinööritoimisto Kallinen Ltd (ARKCON). The consortium has partners from other Nordic countries supporting the research, and together they will develop guidance for easing BIM-based building LCA across the Nordic countries.
“When driving further Nordic integration of building LCA, digitalisation and BIMs are quite essential as these can contribute to minimising errors and costs. Therefore, we look forward to integrating BIM and LCA tools even further to ease the way for building LCA in the Nordic construction sector and beyond”, Senior Scientist, Rita Lavikka, from VTT states.
The project will also develop a set of Nordic reference buildings to validate how various BIM plugins and LCA tools perform. On this basis, the BIM4LCA consortium will develop online learning material for Nordic universities as well as professional use.
We will inform about the project and its results here on our website throughout 2023 and 2024.